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Our Insights

What’s Special

Great music program and broad array of classes and extracurricular activities

The Downside

A large school may be overwhelming for some; very overcrowded

Fort Hamilton High School is a massive school located along the edge of New York Harbor. It offers a broad array of classes and extracurricular activities, including more than 60 clubs and dozens of sports teams. The school mainly admits students who live in its zone, though there are a few small arts programs and an honors academy that attract kids from across Brooklyn.

What’s nice about Fort Hamilton is that kids don’t have to specialize from the outset. Students may participate in the school’s extensive music program, which includes three choirs, three concert bands, two orchestras, and both a jazz and marching band. While a newly minted drama program offers an intensive course of study for its enrolled students, there are theater classes and school performances open to all. Business classes are a popular draw and include options such as computer applications, entrepreneurship, accounting and Virtual Enterprise, where students create and operate all facets of a mock business.

Incoming freshmen with strong grades, including those admitted to one of the arts programs, are placed in honors classes even if they didn’t apply to the Honors Academy. Upperclassmen with strong grades or who are looking for a challenge are encouraged to take honors and Advanced Placement classes. Students may study French, Spanish, Greek or Italian.

With a student population that exceeds 4,500, Fort Hamilton is one of the largest high schools in the city. To handle the crowds, classes start as early as 7:20 a.m. and spread over 10 periods. Despite its size and overcrowding, the school does not seem hectic. Hallways are packed during changes of classes but are otherwise quiet and clear of students. Even the cafeteria, which holds more than 700 students and stretches the length of a city block, was not overly noisy during lunchtime.

In academic classes we visited, we saw a range of teaching styles, though teachers across the school are devoting more time in lessons to student discussion and reflection.

Kaye Houlihan became principal of Fort Hamilton in 2012 after working at two other large schools with strong arts program. She was an assistant principal at LaGuardia High School and taught English at Edward R. Murrow High School.

To accommodate the many students still learning English, there are subject classes such as history, science and math taught in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese (options vary by language).

The student council campaigned hard to secure funding from Brooklyn officials to get the school’s field, track and scoreboard replaced. Renovations are slated to be finished in 2019.

There is a dedicated college office where students can drop in to speak with the counselor or do research at a bank of computers. The school’s college-readiness rate is strong, and many students graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma. Graduates attend a broad range of schools, including CUNY, SUNY and private colleges, and job training programs.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There is a full range of services and class settings, including self-contained and ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) classes. There is also a five-year program for students with special needs, who complete the coursework for a diploma and gain work experience at the nearby Veterans Administration hospital. (Laura Zingmond, March 2018)

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achieve the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
Citywide Average is 599


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
Citywide Average is 7
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
Citywide Average is 157

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2021-22 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report, and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more



Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20



Advanced Foreign Language


AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2021-22 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
How many students who have graduated from this high school stay in college for at least 3 semesters?
From the 2020-21 and 2021-22 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2022-23 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2024 High School Directory

Honors Academy (K17H)

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

A four-year academic program offering courses in humanities, mathematics, and science courses that culminate in AP coursework. Students that complete the Honors Academy coursework are eligible for the Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors distinction.

Joffrey Dance Academy (K17J)

Admissions Method: Audition

Program Description:

Students will be trained in the Joffrey Ballet School's technique in classical ballet, contemporary dance, jazz, improvisation, dance history, dance composition, and pointe. Students eligible for Honors and AP classes will be programmed accordingly.

Instrumental Music (K17R)

Admissions Method: Audition

Program Description:

In addition to studying the required music courses, students will develop their ability to perform on a musical instrument and enhance solo and ensemble techniques.

Vocal Music (K17S)

Admissions Method: Audition

Program Description:

In addition to studying the required music courses, students will develop their vocal techniques and enhance solo and ensemble techniques.

Dramatic Arts Academy (K17T)

Admissions Method: Audition

Program Description:

A sequential course of study focusing on acting, scene study, dramatic literature, playwriting, and performance. Students will have an opportunity to perform in musicals and dramatic plays.

Zoned (K17Z)

Admissions Method: Zoned Guarantee

Program Description:

Comprehensive academic program.


From the 2024 High School Directory

Language Courses

French, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, AP Chinese Language and Culture, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP Human Geography, AP Physics 2, AP Psychology, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Statistics, AP Studio Art - 2D, AP United States Government and Politics, AP United States History, AP World History: Modern, Arts (College Course [Credited]), Chemistry (Advanced Science), ELA (College Course [Credited]), Other (College Course [Uncredited]), Physics (Advanced Science), Science (College Course [Credited]), Social Studies (College Course [Credited]), World Languages (Advanced World Languages)

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Football, Handball, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Flag Football, Golf, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams


Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


8301 Shore Road
Brooklyn NY 11209

Buses: B16, B37, B4, B63, X27, X37


Principal: Kaye Houlihan

Parent Coordinator: Nancy Makkar


Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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